By Michael Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Baptist Memorial breast cancer patients soon will have a new guide in Oxford.
The Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi was recently awarded a grant to create a breast health navigator position at the Baptist Centers for Cancer Care in Oxford.
“The cancer committee physicians felt we need to do something to help these women diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Dawn Lipscomb, director of the Centers for Cancer Care, which sees about 4,500 breast health patients annually.
The navigator will serve as a resource for women and will field questions about mammograms, biopsies, treatment options and will be a community educator, Lipscomb said.
There are 12 different medical specialty areas that touch a patient as they go through breast cancer treatment.
“That’s a lot,” Lipscomb said. “The breast health navigator will be able to help them understand what happens next.”
The Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation, which supports hospitals throughout the Baptist Memorial system, will cover the salary for the navigator the first two years.
In 2005, a similar foundation grant was used to hire the centers’ first cancer navigator, Allen Linton.
“She’s been very successful,” Lipscomb said.
Additionally, a sister hospital, Baptist Memorial Women’s Hospital in Memphis, created breast health navigators program that has received strong positive feedback.
Hospital leaders have begun the search for the breast health navigator, looking for someone who has a background in oncology and strong communication skills so they can be a bridge between the clinical staff and patients.
“We want to have someone as soon as possible,” Lipscomb said.